Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal
This page shows recent and upcoming events, including meetings, workshops, and changes to the website of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal.
You can also follow us on Facebook.
Annual 3 Presenters
(Hymie Reichstein "research results",
Irene Benavida "Egyptian Jews" & Mark Pearlstein "Lithuania")
Three JGS of Montreal Members, each relating his or her start and subsequent research in Jewish genealogical and related pursuits. Come and hear them recount their research experiences, sharing their individual stories, successes & tips.
|2017-06-04||Workshop||Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop|
Kitaigorod, Ukraine - Profile of a Ukrainian Shtetl
Based on the memoirs of his grandfather, a former resident of Kitaigorod, Podolia, Ukraine, Steven Lapidus has drawn an historical image of life in that town in the early twentieth century. Supported by historical documents, Yizkor books, affidavits, images and trial testimonies he traces Kitaigorod's Jewish history, including the devastating pogrom of 1919, which led to a survivor's testimony at the 1927 Schwartzbart trial in Paris and the town's ultimate destruction in the Holocaust.
|2017-05-07||Workshop||Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop|
Canada's oldest Jewish community welcomes a new addition - a history museum
Focusing on the Jewish impact on the city's culture, the Montreal institution [Museum of Jewish Montreal] covers Leonard Cohen, art, landmarks - and even cuisine.
How Volunteer Genealogy Improved his Research Skills,
Strengthened his Family Relations, and Created New Tools
Gary has done volunteer genealogy at a geriatric centre for a dozen residents and their families. During the process, he improved his research skills. After a year of this, he decided to grow his own family tree. He researched the immigration stories of all his cousins' grandparents, bringing them all closer. He even developed some tools (e.g., Genealogy Dashboard) to make his research more productive and which he will share.
|2017-04-02||Workshop||Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop|
|2017-03-06||Meeting||JGS-Montreal and Public Research Tools: How to use them to solve family history mysteries (Alan Greenberg)|
|2017-03-05||Workshop||Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop|
Short Articles on Practicing Safe Computing
Hal Bookbinder of the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV) has written a series of short articles on safe computing. These have been consolidated into a single PDF document with an internal index to quickly locate each article.
Annual Members-only Schmoozarama
Due to the weather, this event has been cancelled. We will try to reschedule in the spring when the snowbirds are back.
Early History of JGS-Montreal
Stanley Diamond has found some newspaper clippings, documents and a photo from the very first JGS-Montreal meetings in 1994. They have been added to the meeting archive.
|2017-02-05||Workshop||Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop|
Wagar High School Yearbooks Online
Wagar High School opened its doors in Cote Saint-Luc in 1963, closing in 2005. The vast majority of its students were Jewish, making its Prelude yearbooks a surprisingly useful genealogical resource. As of mid-January 2017, 13 years (1530 pages) have been scanned and are viewable online, and 4234 names have been entered and are searchable online. Lifespans are displayed for those who are known to have passed on, with links to obituaries when available. There are research links from each name to Facebook, Google, and the JGS-Montreal Genealogy Dashboard. There is even a page that shows all the family and given names, from most common to least.
Annual Film Night
Set in Canada, Poland, Russia and Germany, between 1938 and 1948, "My dear Clara" is a documentary film that tells a true story against the backdrop of both the war in Europe and life in Canada's during the tumultuous war years and the drama of a Polish Jewish refugee's survival with his Canadian wife's unflinching battle to change her government's immigration policies.
Award: J.I. Segal Award for best Canadian film on a Jewish theme.
Film Maker, Garry Beitel will introduce his film and participate in the discussion following the screening.
|2017-01-08||Workshop||Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop|
|2016-12-29||Research||Canadian City Directories|
Something about Christmas Day
The JGS-Montreal records of Back River Memorial Gardens include 6840 burials, for which we have 1492 birth dates. Evenly distributed, that would be just over four births for each of 365 days of the year, but the most common birth date -- 18 of them -- is December 25th!
Mazel Tov to Stanley Diamond, M.S.M. for his award from the Governor General!
JGS-Montreal President, Stanley Diamond, JRI-Poland co-founder and Executive Director, has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal of Canada. A letter from the Canadian Governor General's Office informed him that he had received
"the Meritorious Service Medal for your work in documenting Jewish genealogy, and particularly for establishing and directing Jewish Records Indexing - Poland. The impact of your work has indeed been far-reaching."Dr. George F. MacDonald, CM, Director, Bill Reid Centre for Northwest Coast Art Studies in Vancouver, nominated Diamond for the award and emphasized that JRI-Poland has evolved into today's
"sophisticated and internationally acclaimed online resource with indices to five million Polish Jewish birth, marriage and death records. Reliable data has become accessible, affordable and highly effective in helping thousands of people gain access to historical evidence of their families"and
"Information from JRI-Poland's efforts has been used to help reunite families torn by the ravages of World War II, has made it possible to quickly identify previously unknown family members who might be potential matches for those urgently needing bone marrow or tissue transplants, and has facilitated significant connections between the Polish and Jewish peoples."From the Governor General's website:
Meritorious Service Medal (M.S.M.)
Two More Montreal Cemeteries Photographed for JOWBR
JGS-Montreal members Merle Kastner and Gary Perlman have submitted gravestone photos and data for two Montreal cemeteries, now in the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry:
La Macaza, Quebec and the Jewish Colonization Association
(Naomi Pascal Freeman)
On a much smaller scale than their western cousins, one such community was La Macaza, Quebec, a Jewish farming community, 165 kilometers north of Montreal. Its fifty year history represents a small, but not unworthy chapter in the story of Canadian Jewish immigration.
|2016-12-04||Workshop||Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop|
Family Tree Maker - What Do I Do Now?
The surprise move by Ancestry to discontinue support of the standalone version of Family Tree Maker has provoked many questions and worries among family historians. Various options will be presented, including choosing a new program, moving the information off the Ancestry site, using the version of FTM from the new buyer or keeping the status quo.
Leonard Norman Cohen,
(1934-2016) - updated Nov 13, 16, 17
We note with sadness the passing of Montreal cultural icon, Leonard Cohen. His birth, to Nathan Bernard Cohen and Masha Kline on September 21st, 1934, was recorded with the Congregation Shaar Hashomayim. Roslyn Elementary, Herzliah and Westmount High Schools, and McGill University.
|2016-11-06||Workshop||Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop|
|2016-11-05||Help Us?||Do you recognize people in this photo?|
Special workshop on Ukraine genealogy. Janette Silverman, presenting to us via Skype from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah, went over all the many research resources that Ukraine SIG (on the JewishGen website) comprises. Her talk was followed by a question and answer period.
|2016-11-01||Society||Society Seeks Newsletter Editor|
The JGS-Montreal website (JGS-Montreal.org) has been updated. While there has been some discussion about a complete redesign, for now, the main change has been to move updated content off the home page to subpages:
New News Service
A news service had been created to inform the JGS-Montreal community about upcoming and past events. Upcoming news items and recent news items of interest will appear on the JGS-Montreal home page. Some categories of news items include: website, projects, meetings, workshops, and research. An archive will preserve some items for later reference.
Research Trip to Poland and Lithuania
My family trip to Lithuania & Belarus -- Piecing together tales from my mother and tracing her footsteps from her shtetl Kobylnik to Vilnius ghetto to Bergen Belsen to Montreal.
|2016-10-09||Workshop||Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop|
JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) and the Importance of Jewish Burial Records
Jewish headstone inscriptions and burial records can provide crucial information to genealogists. Hebrew name inscriptions, based on patronymics, can link together two generations of Hebrew names unlike any other source document. This can be especially helpful when trying to link first generation American ancestors to their European families.
Nolan Altman will explain the importance of Jewish cemetery records. Through photographic examples and case studies, you will see what information and symbols are found on stones and how the information can help to create your family tree.
Nolan has made some videos on this topic on the JGSLI YouTube channel:
|2016-09-11||Workshop||Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop|
How young Lithuanians are making efforts at reconciliation and working at preserving Jewish memories in a small shtetl in Lithuania.
(Jo Ann Goldwater)
Jo Ann will talk about her visit to Zagare (Zhager), a small town in Lithuania, a stone's throw from the border with Latvia. In 2015, a Jewish Culture Festival was organized by two Lithuanians, who were supported and advised by descendents of Jewish Zagareans in the planning. Jo Ann's presentation will be illustrated with photos that she took there.
Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop
Featuring more than 50 sources used for research during JGS-Montreal's Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshops, the dashboard enables you to search many genealogical resources from one screen.
Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop
|2016-06-06||Meeting||Annual 3 Presenters (Rikee Madoff, Raymonde Grant & Dr. Neil Davis)|
|2016-06-05||Workshop||Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop|
History of Jewish Bessarabia and what is available to genealogical researchers
Bessarabia/Moldova had a population of about 230,000 Jews at the beginning of the 20th century - its capital Kishinev was 50% Jewish. Jews had settled in towns, villages, shtetlakh-small towns, agricultural colonies and farms in the 19th century. There is a large collection of Vital Records (birth, marriage, death) available, as well as Revision Lists (family records) from the region. Every year more records and information are added. Our speaker will explore the history of Jewish Bessarabia/Moldova, as well as the genealogical information available in various places.
An archive of JGS-Montreal meetings, dating back to 1994, contains over 150 meeting posters, and some handouts, slides, and images.
Monthly Sunday Morning Family Tree Workshop
Before the workshop, Michael Goldstein, past president of the Israel Genealogical Society, answered Israeli- and Holocaust-related questions, 9:15-10:00 am in the ground floor lobby.
Resources used during the May 2016 Family Tree Workshop:
Virtual Museum of Jewish Montreal and Tours of Jewish Montreal
The story of the Museum of Jewish Montreal (so far) and the continuing technological revolution in museums.
Odyssey from birthplace in Grajewo, Poland, to Ansonville, Ontario then to Val d'Or, Quebec and to Montreal & birthplace visit
Rita Briansky, acclaimed artist, describes the difficulties and experiences that she and her family encountered and her later return visit to her birthplace - in words and pictures.
|2016-02-01||Meeting||Annual Schmoozarama (Lenny & Anna Roth's home)|
|2016-01-11||Meeting||Annual Film Night|
|2015-11-30||Meeting||"Restoring and Caring For Your Old and Precious Family Photos" (Manuel Da Mota)|
"Quebec Notary Records -- The What, Where and How of a Genealogical Treasure Trove"
This lecture addresses Quebec's unique notary system, which has existed since the beginning of New France. The speaker will explain why these records can be so valuable in family history research, notaries having played a comprehensive role in ancestors' day-to-day lives. Also covered will be various methods of accessing their records, which can potentially open a gateway to an abundance of genealogical data.
"The Gabbai from Boyan - My Great-Grandfather"
My attempt to fill in a historical part of my father's early life, for which I had no pictures and few stories: My trip to Chernivtsi, Ukraine (formerly Czernowitz, Bukovina, Austria) - How I planned it & what I learned when I was there.
|2015-09-21||Meeting||"The Origin of Jewish Moroccan Names - History of the Jews in Morocco by Their Names - Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Berber, Arab, Spanish, Portuguese & modern eras" (David Bensoussan)|
"Research trip to Ukraine"
In June of 2013, Hazel Sandow Boon began her journey from Hamilton, ultimately arriving in Liviv, Ukraine to join two of her cousins to visit the shtetl which was called Zurów, Galicia when their HABER grandparents and great grandparents lived there. Most of their family had immigrated to New York City between 1890 and 1920. What these cousins experienced was beyond their hopes and dreams. Hazel will talk about the planning process for this sort of trip and will guide you through the many pictures she took so that you can take this journey to Zurów and Jewish Lviv with her.
Strong Canadian showing at Israeli genealogy meeting
Hundreds of Jews from more than 25 countries around the globe gathered in Jerusalem earlier this month for the first international conference on Jewish genealogy to take place in Israel in more than a decade
|2015-06-01||Meeting||Annual 3 Presenters Program (Gary Davis (member from Saint John, NB), Paule Bailey & Merle Kastner)|
"The Historic Iraqi Jewish Community and its Exodus"
Mrs. Jacob will be telling us her story, tracing the existence of Jews in Iraq from Babylonian times and their place in Iraqi history in the twentieth century ... then how their lives and those of 150,000 Jews in Iraq slowly changed throughout the twentieth century till now and where they are today.